From Christian Post
The Islamic State (IS) terror group has captured the Syrian town of Maheen in the central Homs Province, reports have said, and is now advancing toward the nearby town of Sadad, which is home to nearly 15,000 Syriac Orthodox Christians.
BBC News reported that the terror group, which has captured significant territory across Syria and Iraq, has been focusing on expanding from its mainly northern and eastern strongholds toward Homs in central Syria in recent months.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the fall of Maheen started with two suicide blasts on Saturday, with government forces eventually being driven out of the city. The watchdog group said that at least 50 government soldiers were killed or wounded in the fighting.
Clashes have already began on the outskirts of the mostly Christian town of Sadad, which has 14 churches and a monastery, reports added.
Christians and other religious minorities have been heavily persecuted across the towns captured by the Islamic jihadists. Back in August when IS captured the town of Qaryatian, Christians were handed down 11 demands to follow, or face death.
The 11 stipulations, along with paying the Islamic jizya tax imposed on non-Muslims, prohibited things like the establishment of churches, the displaying of crosses, making Muslims hear Christian prayers or rituals of worship, the hiding of spies, offending Islamic religious beliefs, the carrying of weapons, the sale of pork or wine to Muslims, and failing to dress modestly.
Reuters has reported that IS’ conquests continue despite Russia joining airstrike operations in Syria in the past months, and despite the U.S. recently announcing it’s sending in ground troops for the first time to participate in a limited capacity in the efforts to stop the terror group’s advancement.
The four-year-old civil war has killed close to 250,000 people so far, and forced nearly half of Syria’s population, or 11 million people, to flee their homes.
For complete story go to: http://www.christianpost.com/news/isis-syria-airstrikes-christians-russia-putin-obama-148977/.
Open Doors is helping Christians who have been displaced by IS. To help feed a family for $50 a month, go to https://secure2.convio.net/ccod/site/Donation2?df_id=7560&7560.donation=form1&_ga=1.43211565.981393229.1378412015.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.